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Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 
Jay Tee, 30, has been a drug addict since he was a teenager. He has tried to kick the habit many times; going in and out of rehabilitation centers. He managed to stay clean for a month before suffering a
relapse. There are many drug addicts like Jay Tee. Why are they into it in the first place? It doesn't matter if you are white or black or Asian or Latin, every race has their share of drug abuse problems.

Some people say that it is due to the perception of drugs being "bad and illegal" and therefore something so irresistible that you just have to try it. Somehow, teenagers are more curious to discover the "forbidden fruit". Some manage to kick the habit early but there are many others who are trapped.

For many teenagers, drug abuse is a mere escape. They use drugs to get out of their misery, pain, confusion and loneliness. Some teenage drug addicts grow up without guidance from their parents, and so they resort to drugs. Some are physically or mentally abused and drugs become the only thing that they are able to count on. Many succumb to drug addiction because of the need to feel like they belong. They try drugs to please their friends or to be part of a group. Many teenage drug abusers are also low achievers in schools and have low self-esteem.

There are also teenagers who claim that they were first exposed to different kinds of drugs at parties and discos. These drugs were distributed freely the first few times and they kept coming back for more. As a result, many of them became addicted even before they knew it. In certain cases, these teenagers might resort to committing crimes to support their expensive habit.

One effective tool in the fight against teen drug abuse is communication. Troubled teens need some form of outlet from the problems or depression they are facing. Parents should take time out from their busy schedules to spend time with their children and listen to their problems. Communication, however, should go beyond words. Parents should show their children that they really care. Adequate parental supervision has also been found to be a deterrent to drug use in youth. Parents should know who their children's friends are and what is going on in their social lives. School counselors should also play an active role in providing information on drug abuse and also provide emotional support.

One common belief is that drug abusers should be able to stop taking drugs if only they are willing to change their behavior. However, drug addiction is a disease that affects the brain and because of that,
stopping drug abuse is not simply a matter of willpower. Drug abuse can affect a person's self-control and ability to make sound decisions, and at the same time send intense impulses to take drugs. Through scientific advances, we now know that the abuse of drugs leads to changes in the structure and function of the brain and at the same time, we also know that drug addiction can be successfully treated to help people get over their addiction and resume productive lives.

At the end of the day, the best way to prevent drug addiction is by educating teenagers about it. The more they learn about the bad effects, the less their excuses to take it. This may even dissuade them from using it.

     
  1. From paragraph 1, who does 'they' refer to ?
     
  2. From paragraph 2, what is the reason cited for teenage drug addiction ?
     
  3. From paragraph 3,
    (a) what are teenage drug abusers escaping from ?
    (b) give two other reasons for drug abuse among teenagers.
    (c) give two characteristics of teenage drug abusers.
     
  4. From paragraph 5, name one way in which parents could help their troubled children.
     
  5. In your own words, explain why stopping drug abuse is not simply a matter of willpower.
     
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    Answers
  1. 'They' refers to teenage drug abusers.
     
  2. The perception that drugs are 'bad and illegal', and since they are forbidden, it becomes irresistible.
     
  3. (a) They are using drugs to escape from misery, pain confusion and loneliness.
    (b) * No guidance from parents * Peer pressure * Mental or physical abuse ( Any two answers )
    (c) Low achievers in schools and have low self-esteem
     
  4. Parents should take time to listen to their children's problems.
     
  5. It is because drugs can affect a person's self control and he or she will not be able to think wisely.
     
 
 
 
 

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